Stressing heart health for American Heart Month

heart-healthy

Help customers take control of their heart health

In Brief:

  • About 95 million U.S. adults have cholesterol levels that can raise their risk for heart disease and stroke, two of America’s top five causes of death.1
  • Because there are no symptoms of high cholesterol, patients may not realize they are at risk.
  • Offering in-pharmacy cholesterol screenings allows you to better educate patients, build relationships and raise revenue.

Raising Heart Health Awareness

Heart disease and strokes remain among the leading causes of death in the United States. Still, many people don’t understand their risks or know their cholesterol level.

Held in February each year, American Heart Month aims to focus attention on heart health, increase awareness and lead patients to take action to improve their heart health.

How Independent Pharmacies Can Help

WilliamsonHughes Pharmacy in Harrisonburg, Virginia, has been helping patients understand their cholesterol risk for several years.

The first and second Tuesday of every month, WilliamsonHughes Pharmacy provides cholesterol screenings. “It gives patients information to take control of their health,” said John Bell, pharmacy manager. It is also part of WilliamsonHughes becoming a more clinical pharmacy.

While discussing each patient’s test results, the pharmacist or staff explains ways that WilliamsonHughes can support them in improving their health.

For example, patients may be candidates for:

  • Medication therapy management (MTM)
  • The pharmacy’s medication adherence (med sync) program
  • Supplements such as red yeast rice extract

How it works

  • Logistics. The pharmacy offers testing two days each month, from 9 a.m. to noon. A technician who also is a nurse does the tests, which take about 30 minutes. The pharmacy has two offices for testing and other consultations.
  • Payment. Patients pay $29 out of pocket for a full panel cholesterol screening. During its health clinic hours on Tuesday mornings the pharmacy also offers blood glucose testing for $6 and hemoglobin A1C tests for $22.
  • Advertising. The pharmacy promotes the service with in-store signs and bag-stuffers.

This screening service is just one more way to connect with customers, help them control their health and explain the many ways the pharmacy can help them. Many Health Mart pharmacies sell at-home cholesterol test kits, though in-pharmacy screenings can be more accurate.6

Independent pharmacies can stand out as partners in patients’ health by making cholesterol tests convenient, and offering products, services and expertise that can reduce health risks.

American Heart Month in February isn’t the only time to catch patients’ attention with cholesterol tests. September is National Cholesterol Education Month.

See also “5 ways to stand out during American Heart Month.”


1“High Cholesterol Facts,” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, October 31, 2017. LINK
2“Many Americans Don’t Know How to Handle High Cholesterol,” Heath Day, April 11, 2017. LINK
3“High Cholesterol Facts,” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, October 31, 2017. LINK
4“Many Americans Don’t Know How to Handle High Cholesterol,” Heath Day, April 11, 2017. LINK
5“High Cholesterol Facts,” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, October 31, 2017. LINK
6“Cholesterol Testing at Home: It May Be Faster, But Is It Better?” Harvard Health Publishing, January 20, 2017. LINK
7“Your Guide to Lowering Your Cholesterol with TLC,” National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, December 2005. LINK
8“The Latest on Cholesterol Testing,” Harvard Heart Letter, March 2015. LINK
9“How Long Does It Take to Lower Cholesterol?” Healthline. LINK